Hey Warriors fans, today is Friday, Nov. 22.

When I walked into Monday night’s school board meeting, I was little surprised to see so many people in attendance. The meetings typically attract a half-dozen or so people beyond the administrative team. Several students showed up to challenge an administrative decision but several were also athletes on Philomath High sports teams that had seen great success during the fall.

Headlining the group was the boys cross-country team that took the state title. The third-place finishes by the volleyball and girls cross-country teams were also recognized.

Philomath High’s cross-country program has seen success for so many years. Coach Joe Fulton went into what occurred in the couple of years leading up to the state title.

“Two years ago, they were trying to qualify for state for the 34th consecutive year, which is a state record for any sport, any division,” he said. “You have to finish in the top two at the district meet (to qualify for state) and at the district meet ... we tied for second. We were missing a few of our varsity kids for reasons I won’t go into, but we had to bring up a JV freshman who was our sixth man. We tied Newport for second and the sixth man determines who breaks the tie and our streak came to an end.”

Fulton went on about how the results from that meet created motivation for the runners that returned.

“The two teams that beat us finished second and third at state and after that day, we were committed to not only return to state the next year but win the state meet as quickly as we could and we did it two years later. That’s because of these gentlemen here.”

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Runners on hand for the school board event were Grant Hellesto, Levi Knutson, Brody Bushnell, Sean Cummings, Justin Enghauser, Jayden Kelley and Brody Gerig.

A few of the girls were on hand for the school board appearance — Madison Bushnell, Hannah Hernandez and Claire Cothern.

“The girls have made it to state 38 of the last 40 years, including 31 straight,” Fulton said. “They’ve won eight state team titles and 17 top-four trophies.”

In tomorrow’s installment, I’ll write about the volleyball team’s appearance at the board meeting.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you at the next game.

— Brad Fuqua, Philomath Express

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